Good to be here now

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Noel
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Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:06 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand this to be that there is no me, that consciousness is the only true reality, and that any belief outside of "what is" leads to suffering.

What are you looking for at LU?
I feel I am currently "on the bridge" or on the doorstep of awakening. I understand that the notion of even being on the bridge is not correct. I'm joining LU for a "push" (or rather some assistance) so I can leap. I'm not certain what is holding me back. My life is vastly different than it was a couple of months ago. I have moments of awareness, I can see/feel there's a "there" there, but I feel I'm not quite there. I'm happy and content with where things are, this is wonderful so far, but I know there is more. I feel LU may offer others who are going through or have gone through the process and I don't have a lot of people in my life to fully share this experience with, so maybe I'm in the right place now?

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I'm somewhere between expecting nothing and expecting the conversation to be like one on one conversations at satsangs. Questions, answers, "contemplate that", "try this", etc elements of self inquiry with friendly, compassionate challenges to snap me out of/into it.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've been a meditator for a long time, an experiencer of the power of Now (without the full understanding of it), a practitioner of Zen for a few years, but only recently (2 months) experiencing and beginning to understanding the truth, real awakening.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 10

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:43 pm

Hello Noel,

I will be happy to assist you in exploring the illusion of the ‘separate self’. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Just let me know that you have read the disclaimer, the FAQ's and we can then start the exploration.

Many thanks,

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:56 pm

Thanks for responding, Michael, I read the links you mentioned yesterday and I'm ready.
Please learn to use the quote function.
^Got it. :)

I appreciate your assistance and look forward to our conversation.

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:43 pm

Hi Noel,

One more practical point before I forget. If you can click on the spanner icon at the bottom of the page then we will get email notifications of posts. It can glitch a little but is generally helpful.

So let's begin our journey.

Typically, I will ask a series of questions and or ask you to do various exercises and I hope you will answer from your direct and actual experience as honestly as you can.

From your introduction it is clear that you want to see and to 'know' so I needn't really mention not digressing into abstractions and theory.

To this end it is recommended to not read Dharma / spiritual books or watch 'spiritual' videos while engaged in this enquiry so outside ideas do not colour your direct experience.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

So to get underway I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and write them out for me.

And

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

Yours,

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:41 pm

Thank you, Michael, going on a seeker's "content diet" will be a good break, I've been going back to the buffet for thirds and fourths lately.
Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and write them out for me.
My expectations are that there will be questions, answers, pointing, looking, inquiry, and confirming what is real. I'm here to find the truth. There are no grandiose expectations of ultimate bliss or the wiping away of all of life's challenges. I trust the process.

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.
I suppose the main thing that comes up is a reservation/fear about not caring for my loved ones as a provider, post gate. As a husband and father, I've lived with the "provider" label for long enough that it seems a difficult obligation to be free from, even though there is a feeling and knowing that a giving up won't happen in that sense. The "don't fully surrender, man, who's going to care for your kids??" seems to be a plea from the mind, fearful of the possible reduction in its relevance.

Also, a feeling of "so close, but you can't quite get it" comes up. Where I can see it, but not quite touch it, whatever "it" is.


One final share: Last night, as I was going to sleep, in the mid-way state between wakefulness and sleeping, I was looking for the self while experiencing the sensation of my head on the pillow. I got a glimpse, a taste, consciousness alive through the body. It was not mine, there was no me. A thought came up, "this is it", an understanding, joy, and I laughed, then fell asleep. I woke up, like a kid at Christmas, ready to "see it" again. I didn't, but there was a sense of encouragement.

Thank you for your help, Michael.

Noel

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:12 pm

Hi Noel,

Thanks for your post.

There are no grandiose expectations of ultimate bliss or the wiping away of all of life's challenges. I trust the process.
Excellent!
I suppose the main thing that comes up is a reservation/fear about not caring for my loved ones as a provider, post gate.
It won't happen. you will still love them and carry on being a father. All my Gated pals that are parents (mums and dads) have carried on. In many ways it becomes easier.

Hey, I've even got two teenages and haven't headed for the door ;)

"so close, but you can't quite get it" comes up. Where I can see it, but not quite touch it, whatever "it" is.
For this just try and relax and enjoy the process of investigation / inquiry. Or better still in your own words 'trust the process'. It is a case of having an open mind, an almost child like attitude. 'Little scientist' mode is how others relate to the approach.

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth just mentioning what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Thanks,

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:59 pm

Hi Michael, great to hear from you, I hope you’ve had a good weekend.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?
Feeling of thumbs tapping on phone, breeze of the fan, hearing children in the other room. Breathing is happening, seeing out the window, watching tree leaves blow, thoughts of possible rain.

Watching a gecko chase a bug on the screen, hearing birds chirp and sing, feeling back muscles relax, moving a pillow.

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:22 pm

Hi Noel,

You have a good basis to start from so let's get underway!

Sitting quietly somewhere, become aware of the six senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and whatever is passing through the mind.

Focusing on sight say to yourself,
'I am seeing -a table, wall, lamp' whatever it is.

Then with sound 'I am hearing - traffic, the fridge' or whatever.
'I am touching - the floor, cushion, chair' as occurs.

Smell and taste are obviously subtler and we'll see how you get on with 'I am thinking...'

Then do just the same without the 'I'

'Seeing table'
'Hearing a dog'.
'Smelling incense' etc

What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"

Enjoy!

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:51 pm

Hello Michael!

Thank you for this exercise.
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"
When the "I" is dropped, there is the experience of "happening", a noticing that the activities taking place do not belong to "me", or anyone/anything. The activities happen on their own.

There is also the experience of the mind trying to label everything, it has done this for so long. Sometimes it finds the side door to ownership and is able to pull attention away from the exercise, if momentarily.

Thank you,

Noel

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:14 pm

Hi Noel,
When the "I" is dropped, there is the experience of "happening", a noticing that the activities taking place do not belong to "me", or anyone/anything. The activities happen on their own.
Excellent!
There is also the experience of the mind trying to label everything
Thought is labelling, yes.

Can you find Mind?

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:18 pm

Hello Michael,
Can you find Mind?
Great question. At first I began to reply with "no particular place, 'it' just lobs thoughts in from the shadows," but that's incorrect. There are no shadows, there is no place mind hides because thoughts don't come 'from' a place, they just arise and pass. They have no specific starting point, no "thrower/lobber", they just appear and disappear, on their own.

In that regard, mind doesn't exist in a place and it isn't the creator or server of thoughts.

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi,

Thanks.
there is no place mind hides because thoughts don't come 'from' a place, they just arise and pass. They have no specific starting point, no "thrower/lobber", they just appear and disappear, on their own.
That is great noticing in relation to thoughts. Well done.

I am intrigued whether you found mind or not?

Carry on looking for mind.

And here is your next excercise;

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?

Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?

Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?

Enjoy!

Michael

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:05 pm

I am intrigued whether you found mind or not?
Mind cannot be found.

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?
Separate self is false, there is no object of perception, regardless of those teachings. "Self" is a thought, a collective construct that seems to build in importance until it is seen that only awareness exists.

Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?
Through direct experience, a boundary appears to exist. Body is here, table is there. But attempts to see how far "I" am from the table show there is no boundary.

Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?
Perception is just occuring, like seeing, breathing, walking.

Thank you,

Noel

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MichaelD
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby MichaelD » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:53 pm

Hi Noel,

All your other answers are bang on.

Well done.

Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?

Through direct experience, a boundary appears to exist. Body is here, table is there. But attempts to see how far "I" am from the table show there is no boundary.

Aha. To take the added complication of 'distance' out of the equation try this again but use the modality of hearing. So sitting relaxed with eyes closed sounds (perhaps from central heating, birds or traffic) can be heard.

Can a boundary in direct experience be found between the sound and whatever is hearing them?

Regards,

Michael.

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Noel
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Re: Good to be here now

Postby Noel » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:36 pm

Can a boundary in direct experience be found between the sound and whatever is hearing them?

There is no boundary between birds singing or fan humming, only the arising as sounds before thoughts label them. Thoughts also arise about their distance from “me,” but when looking for the boundary, the appearance of distance fades.

Thank you,

Noel


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